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Permanent Residence Card UK

You may be able to apply for a permanent residence card to prove your permanent residency in the UK if you are from inside the European Economic Area (EEA) and you are looking to settle in the UK indefinitely.

Additionally, if you are from outside of the EEA, but you are the family member of a EEA national, you may be able to apply.

You won’t need to spent a certain amount of time in the UK before applying for your residence card like you would for permanent settlement, as you can apply for your permanent residence card straight after you move to the UK.

Our immigration solicitors help you through the application process with ease.

We manage your application for you and we will keep you informed of the latest developments in UK immigration policies for European citizens.

Why European Citizens Apply for Permanent Residence Cards

You don’t currently need to apply for a permanent residence card to live and work in the UK, however this may change soon.

After five years of residency in the UK you are eligible to apply for permanent settlement, either with or without having obtained a permanent residence card.

Furthermore, permanent residency can:

  • Help you re-enter the country more quickly and easily if you travel abroad
  • Show employers you are allowed to work in the UK
  • Help prove you qualify for certain benefits and services

Many European citizens will need this security, now more than ever. With the often spoken about impending immigration policy changes, permanently setting in the UK can seem worrying.

If you would like to apply for your permanent residence card or learn more about your rights regarding continuous residency in the UK, contact AWH Solicitors today.

Permanent Residence for EU Citizens after Brexit

As it currently stands, EEA citizens living in the UK won’t need to take action yet.

After March 2019 European citizens living in the UK will be able to apply for a ‘settled status document’. There won’t be a rush on these as applicants will have until June 30, 2021 to complete their application.

When European Citizens can Apply for Permanent Residence Post-Brexit

The government has announced that the permanent settlement application process for the post-Brexit UK will fully open in March 2019. However, this application process rollout could be further delayed and details of the proposed process have not been finalised.

As it has always been, until 2020 permanent residence cards are not necessary for EEA citizens to live in the UK, however continue to offer the card holders certain benefits.

All permanent residence cards are scheduled to become invalid on December 31st 2020.

However, holders of such residence cards will be able to then swap their card with ‘settled status document’ free of charge.

Our Advice to EU Citizens Concerned about Brexit

Because of the uncertainty regarding the outcome of Brexit and the ease in which EEA citizens are likely going to be able to swap their permanent residence card to settled status, we would still advice at this time that obtaining documentation proving permanent residence can be in their best interest.

Applying for your Permanent Residence Card

You must apply for a permanent residence card or have a valid EEA family permit if you are an extended family member.

A residence card can last up to five years. After five years, you can apply for a permanent residence card.

Your application is considered based on your individual circumstances and you may not be approved for a residence card even if you meet the conditions.

  • General requirements

    You can apply for a permanent residence card if you are both:

    • From outside the European Economic Area (EEA), and
    • The family member, or extended family member, of an EEA national who is a permanent resident or ‘qualified person’

    Or:

    • You are a EU citizen

    Whether you are a family member or an extended family member affects the form you use when you apply. You may also be eligible for a permanent residence card if you have a ‘retained right of residence’ or make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

    Qualified persons

    A qualified person is someone who is in the UK and one of the following applies:

    • They are working
    • They are self-employed
    • They are self-sufficient
    • They are studying
    • They are looking for work and meet certain conditions
  • Family members of EEA citizens

    You can apply for permanent residency as a direct family member if you are related to the EEA national as:

    • Their spouse or civil partner
    • Their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) child or grandchild who is under 21 or a dependant
    • Their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) dependent parent or grandparent

    If the EEA national is a student, you can only qualify as their family member if you are:

    • Their spouse or civil partner
    • Their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) dependent child

    Other relatives of students must qualify as extended family members.

    Extended family members

    You can apply as an extended family member if you are either:

    • The unmarried partner of the EEA national and you are in a lasting relationship with them that is similar to a marriage or civil partnership
    • A relative of the EEA national (or of their spouse or civil partner) but you don’t qualify as their family member

    Relatives include brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces and cousins. Relatives can also include grandchildren, parents and grandparents if the EEA national only has the right to reside as a student.

    As well as being a relative of the EEA national, one of the following must be true:

    • Before coming to the UK you were dependent on the EEA national, or were a member of the EEA national’s household, and you are still dependent on them or are still a member of their household
    • You need the personal care of the EEA national (or of their spouse or civil partner) on serious health grounds

    Extended family members must have a valid EEA permit or residence card to stay in the UK.

    Children

    Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for the child. If the responsible adult isn’t the parent or guardian, they must be named on the application form.

    Children under six years old don’t need to provide fingerprints but must have a digital photo taken of their face.

  • Retained rights of residence

    You can also apply if you used to have a family member, or extended family member, who was a permanent resident or qualified person. This is called a ‘retained right of residence’. You may get this if, for example:

    • Your marriage or civil partnership to an EEA citizen has ended (with a divorce, annulment or dissolution)
    • Your EEA family member has died and you lived in the UK as their family member for at least one year before their death
    • You are in education and you are the child of an EEA citizen (or their current or former spouse or civil partner) who has left the UK or died
    • Your child has a retained right of residence because they’re in education in the UK (and you have custody of them)

    You willl need to prove:

    • That your family member, or extended family member, was a permanent resident or qualified person at the time your family relationship ended
    • How the relationship ended, for example a death certificate or decree absolute if you divorced

    You can only retain your right of residence as an extended family member if both the following apply:

    • You currently hold a valid residence card as the extended family member of an EEA national
    • You meet all of the relevant conditions

    You can’t retain your right of residence if you were the unmarried partner of the EEA national and that relationship has broken down.

  • Surinder Singh applications

    You might be able to make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application if you lived in another EEA country with an eligible family member who is a British citizen before returning to the UK.

    Your British family member must be one of the following:

    • Your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner
    • Your parent or grandparent (or their spouse or civil partner) - you must also be under 21 years old or dependent on them
    • Your child or grandchild (or their spouse or civil partner) - you must be dependent on them

    To be eligible, your British family member must either have the right to permanent residence in the EEA country where you lived together, or provide proof that they were one of the following there:

    • Working, self-employed or self-sufficient - for example employer’s letters, wage slips, contracts, bank statements or proof of tax registration
    • Studying - for example proof of enrolment and attendance

    They must also work, study, look for work, or be self-employed or self-sufficient in the UK.

    Both you and your British family member must prove that you genuinely made your home in the EEA country where you lived together. It must have been your main residence or base for the ‘centre of your life’.

    Include proof that you both:

    • Lived there together - for example your addresses, time spent living at each address and any proof of renting or buying a home
    • Were integrated there - for example you spoke the language, had children born or living there, or were involved in your local community

    You must also provide lists showing all your:

    • Previous travel to and from the UK - include the dates you arrived and left
    • Other UK visa or immigration applications - include whether you applied from inside or outside the UK, and details of each visa or permission to stay if you were successful
    • Removals, deportations and other immigration penalties in the UK

    After you apply, you might get a letter asking you or your British family member to give more information or go to an interview. Your application will be refused if it looks like you only lived in another EEA country to get UK residence by making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

  • Documents to provide

    For each person on the permanent residency application you will need to provide:

    • A current passport
    • Two passport size colour photographs
    • One passport size colour photograph of your European Economic Area (EEA) national (or British citizen) sponsor
    • Your EEA family member’s valid passport or national identity card
    • Evidence of your relationship to your EEA family member - such as a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, birth certificate, or proof that you’ve lived together for 2 years if you’re unmarried

    You also need to provide proof of one of the following, depending on your eligibility:

    • That your EEA family member has a permanent right of residence
    • That your EEA family member is a ‘qualified person’
    • That you qualify because of a ‘retained right of residence’
    • That you qualify for a ‘Surinder Singh’ application

    You will need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh. You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

    Read the guidance on the application form relevant to you, either:

    • Application for a family member, form EEA (FM)
    • Application for an extended family member, form EEA (EFM)

    Biometric information

    You’ll be asked to provide your biometric information as part of your application. You can do this at certain Post Office branches. This costs £19.20.

    You will need to:

    • Have a digital photo taken of your face
    • Put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
    • Give your signature

    If you have a medical or physical condition

    If you don’t have any fingers or hands you’ll only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

    If you or any dependants need any special arrangements to give your biometrics, include a letter from your doctor with your application. The letter must include the details of your condition and the special arrangements you need.

How our Immigration Solicitors will Help

Our expert immigration solicitors will handle your application from beginning to end.

They will collect and organise your documents and ensure that you have the best chance of a successful application.

For more information about how we can handle your permanent residence card application call today, or request a call back at a time that is better suited to you.

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